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David Finney Centenary Lecture - Studying variation in human brain connectomes: impact of substance use & education

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RSS local group meetings

Tuesday 29 May 2018, 05:15pm - 06:15pm

Location Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh

Professor David Dunson (Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor, Duke University, USA and Carnegie Centenary Professor 2018, University of Edinburgh)
There have been parallel revolutions in recent years in technology for imaging of the human brain and in methods for analyzing high-dimensional and complex data.  We are interested in exploiting and building on this technology motivated by interest in studying how people vary in their brain connection structure.  White matter tracks in the human brain consist of tightly bundled sets of neurons that are geometrically aligned and act as highways for neural activity and communication across the brain.  There are on the order of a million such tracts in a normal human brain, and their locations can be estimated using different types of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combined with state-of-the-art image processing.  We refer to the set of tracts as the human brain “connectome.”  The Human Connectome Project (HCP) collects data on connectomes, along with multiple behaviours and traits of each individual under study.  We develop state of the art data science tools to study variation in connectomes, and the relationship with factors, such as substance use (alcohol, marijuana) and education.  We find a significant relationship between brain connectivity and multiple factors, with high levels of substance use decreasing connectivity and education increasing connectivity.  This talk is designed to be accessible to the general public, focusing on describing these amazing new data resources, analysis tools, and results, with a discussion on ongoing directions.
To attend this lecture, please register by Thursday 24th May 2018 (tickets are free but space is limited):

Followed by a drinks reception

Organiser Name Jiayi Liu

Email Address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organising Group(s) University of Edinburgh Centre for Statistics and the School of Informatics and the RSS Edinburgh Local Group